Saturday, November 29, 2014

Wheeler Pass. 11-29-14


We left the RV park around 10:00 and turned east on the street in front of the park.
After a hundred yards or so the street turned into a dirt trail.


We followed this trail east toward the mountains. Our destination, Wheeler Pass.

As we drove along we noticed a lot of Yuccas growing in the desert.


At first we weren’t sure if they were Yuccas or young Joshua trees. Then we started seeing actual Joshua trees and the difference was obvious.


Joshua trees are interesting in that they seem to grow in a narrow band at an altitude from 2000 to 6000 feet. As it turns out they are indeed a type of Yucca.
If you would like more information on Joshua trees here is a web site for you to read.

We continued our ride through the desert heading for the mountains.


We came to a wide, graded, dusty road and followed it for a while.


We encountered several groups of people on ATV’s throughout the day.


As you can see the air temp was quite cool and the ATV people were bundled up for the cold.

We continued on, getting closer to the mountains. You can see the trail winding through the desert in the distance.


Eventually we turned off the wide road onto a smaller track. As we entered the foothills we saw many interesting rock formations.


We eventually came to some old Charcoal Kilns. These were not in as good a shape as the ones at Wild Rose. But they haven’t been refurbished like the ones there.


Our next stop was just up the road to where the people who were operating the kilns had their camp. There was a good spring in the area. There was some black pipe connected to this large spring box.


The water was very clear and cold and the flow was about the same as our Broken Handle spring at the cabin.


It had apparently been very cold the previous night because there was a layer of ice on the wet ground around the spring box.


From here the trail starts climbing the mountains in earnest.

As we climbed we passed the grumpy old man of the mountains.


He looks a bit like a “Rock Troll”.

After climbing for a while we eventually came to Wheeler Pass. When we got there the wind was blowing a gale across the summit and it was very cold so we didn’t tarry there.

Here is the view to the east from Wheeler Pass.


We headed down the east side of the mountains looking for a suitable lunch spot.


Eventually we found a place in a wash that was somewhat protected. We arranged the Jeeps to block some of the wind and had a nice lunch.
I tried to get a picture of all of us at lunch by using a tripod and the self portrait setting on the camera. After several tries I finally got the right buttons pushed and just made it, falling into my chair it in time to get in the picture.


We continued on after lunch and drove through a small settlement of what appeared to be vacation homes and lots.


Denis found a trail that looked like it would take us to Indian Springs which was our intended destination. We turned down this trail and followed it for a mile or so



We held a council and decided that it was getting too late to do any more exploring so we turned around and headed back to the main trail which had become a wide graded road. We turned east on this road and drove a short distance until we came to a large parking area for ATV’s etc. that is where we came to a paved road going down into the eastern valley and Hwy. 95.

Along this road we saw some wild horses and stopped for some photos of same.


I think these horses are used to getting hand outs from passing motorists so they weren’t all that wild.


After saying good by to the mustangs we continued to Hwy. 95.  Where the road meets 95, there is a large prison on the north side


and a conservation corps camp to the south, which still looked like a prison to me.


When we got to Hwy. 95 we turned north toward Indian Springs. About twenty five miles north of Indian Springs we turned west on Hwy.160 toward Pahrump. The sun was setting as we drove through the mountains.


After dinner we we went over to Suzanne and Roy’s to play cards.

It was a fun ride and another long day.

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